It was only a year ago. Our family was caught up in the magical festivities of the season. We were expecting it to be a very a special Christmas. We had just moved into a new home, and we also welcomed a new addition to our family in August... our beautiful son, Quinton.
The weekend before Christmas, Quinton suddenly came down with a fever. We assumed the outdoor holiday photo shoot the previous day was to blame; however, Quinton’s fever persisted, and he slowly lost interest in feeding. After further examination at the hospital in our small town, we were transported to Children’s Hospital in London Ontario for additional treatment.
We arrived in London on December 22nd. I expected the doctors would be treating a possible case of pneumonia and sending us home in a day or two. I was sadly mistaken.
The results from Quinton’s blood tests revealed that he was suffering from a blood cancer known as, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). After the diagnosis our world came crashing down around us. My husband and I listened in disbelief as the doctors told us about everything our beautiful baby would have to endure, who up until that point had known nothing more than a secure and precious little life. We were also told, that because of his young age and specific gene rearrangement, he suffered from high risk ALL, He would remain in hospital for the next 4 to 6 months.
My husband and I were devastated. Not only was our little boy diagnosed with a life threatening illness, but his two siblings were anticipating the arrival of Santa in only a few short days! We couldn’t leave Quinton’s side for a second, and it was necessary for our family to stay together.
RMH London became an essential place for our family to stay connected during an unimaginable time. It not only provided a comfortable space for our family to be close to Quinton, it allowed us to gather the strength we needed during many extremely difficult times. The day before Christmas we were overwhelmed to find beautifully wrapped presents for all three of our children outside our RMH bedroom. There were even presents included for my husband and I.
We soon came to know the Ronald McDonald House as our home-away-from-home. It is staffed by an amazing group of people (who still to this day hold a special place in our hearts) and supported by countless, dedicated volunteers. These wonderful people offer families the comforts of home, such as hot cooked meals and a clean, comfortable place to stay, which allows them to gather the energy they need to focus on their sick children.
Our family spent a total of 171 nights at the Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwestern Ontario. With the arrival of spring, Quinton’s doctors’ gave us the much awaited news that we could finally bring our little guy home. Now, a year later, Quinton still continues his treatments. We are blessed to be home with our adorable, righted, little toddler and his prognosis is very good. When my husband and I think back to this time last year, our hearts ache from all our beautiful son has endured. But through all of our family’s struggles, we have never once felt alone. Thanks to the amazing support systems, assisted by donors like you, our family has hope and renewed strength. We now know we can face unbelievable challenges if we are together.